Do you remember getting your very first car? I sure do and it was glorious! Except that I really didn’t know the first thing about taking care of it. There was a bunch of basic auto info that I simply did not know. It took me years of trial and error to figure out all the little details of that car, how to take care of it properly, and most importantly, how to avoid expensive repairs. I believe all car owners should know basic auto info and basic auto maintenance. We should all know how to put air in our tires, and how to fix broken head or brake lights. If only there was a manual or guideline for this sort of thing…
Basic Auto Info: Car Owners Manual
Believe it or not, your car’s owners manual contains a ton of helpful information. Not only will it give you the name and location of all your vehicle’s components, it will also tell you how to keep those components in good running order. At the very least, you should read through it to familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s safety features. It’s also a good idea to jot down some basic information about your car, that you can have on hand in the event of an accident, theft or other emergency situation.
- Year, Make & Model: This may seem basic, but make sure you know these key details.
- VIN: Have your Vehicle Identification Number written down somewhere safe.
- Registration: You must obtain a valid Registration in the state where you own your car. It must be in your car at all times.
- Insurance: In most states, Auto Insurance is required to drive on public roads.
- Warranty: Most new and used cars come with some sort of warranty. Have this info readily available.
Basic Auto Maintenance
Within the pages of your vehicle’s owners manual, you can find information on how to maintain all the basic auto maintenance needs your car has.
- Tires: Learn how to fill your tires with the proper amount of air (PSI) to get the best performance possible and be aware of uneven tread wear.
- Lights: Know how to use your lights correctly (ie. When to use Fog Lights and High Beams) and find out how to replace blown fuses or bulbs when necessary.
- Fuel Type & Grade: Make sure you know what grade of fuel to use for your car. All fuel is not created equal, and using the wrong grade can have catastrophic results to your engine.
- Dashboard: Get familiar with what all the colors and symbols mean for the indicator lights. This can help you troubleshoot issues, or know when to get your car in for service.
- Fluids: Find out where and how to check the levels of oil, transmission & brake fluids, coolant and windshield washer solution. Your owners manual will have recommendations on the type of fluids to use for your specific vehicle.
- Washing: Maintaining the appearance of your car is important not only for looks, but it also helps lessen the chance of corrosion, damages and needed repairs going unnoticed beneath layers of dirt and road grime.
Factory Scheduled Maintenance
Every car manufacturer has guidelines that should be followed for regular factory scheduled maintenance. Does that mean you have to take it back to the dealer where you bought it for service? Not necessarily. Most qualified auto shops can do routine maintenance on your car. Some shops are better equipped to handle certain kinds of vehicles (Imports, Domestic, SUVs, Light Duty trucks, etc.), so find an auto shop that specializes in the type of vehicle you drive.
They should follow the manufacturer’s suggestions, found in your owner’s manual, for the maintenance items needed at all the designated mileage and/or usage markers. They can handle oil changes, wheel alignment, tire balancing and rotation. Their technicians can also tackle more complicated diagnostic issues and tell you why your Check Engine light is on.
Werner’s European Auto
Werner’s Mercedes & BMW was established more than 25 years ago to provide high quality, honest automotive service at reasonable prices to the Salt Lake City Valley. We are a complete, independent automotive center that is known across the West for Certified Pre-Owned Sales, Detailing, Replacement Parts, Factory Scheduled Maintenance and Bumper & Paint Repair, in addition to world-class automotive service.
Schedule an Appointment for Auto Maintenance
Visit our website or call us at (801) 467-8220 and let us know how we can help you!